So you’ve had a will prepared, and maybe included a trust or two, with the intent of making the process of distributing your estate as smooth as possible for your heirs after you pass. Maybe your intent is to limit or eliminate estate taxes and/or provide for immediate distribution of your estate without probate. But what if you, or the person with your power of attorney, didn’t know, remember or understand some small technical detail, and something occurred that frustrated your intent?
Have your estate attorney spell out how your estate planning instrument(s) is/are intended to operate after your death, including any actions or legal issues during your lifetime or after your death that could frustrate your intent. The attorney’s written explanation can be an invaluable resource that should be reviewed periodically by you and any person(s) designated in your estate documents, especially if there is a change in your mental, physical or financial condition. And, after you pass, it can be a roadmap for the administrator of your estate (and your heirs), saving them time and attorney fees trying to gain an understanding of your intent and the applicable law and procedure.